TraditionsProjectLearn more about the Artists.

Raw Sugar

CD cover for the album Raw Sugar by Cootie Stark

"Cootie Stark (b. 1926) is the reigning King of the Piedmont Blues! Cootie does not caress delicate guitar pieces into his songs; he digs voraciously into the strings, beating out the music that he learned from the same minstrels who had wandered the countryside at the turn of the last century with their wisdom and wit. Cootie knows them all by name and what tunes the played and which street corner he was on when Pink Anderson, Baby Tate, Simmie Dooley, Chilly Wind, Walter Phelps, Willie Young, Ted Moore, Uncle Chump, Fred Ellis, Kenny, John Olivee, Peg Leg Sam, Guitar Peg or Dewey Corley let their voices be heard."

"Cootie is an elder stateman of a style of blues he learned in and around Greenville, South Carolina. Here are songs he performed with old friends, on his own, and with newer friends including the great Taj Mahal. Together, the songs form a deeply personal memoir of Cootie’s life and times, delivering humor and wisdom and evoking a deep, stark loneliness. Cootie is a heroic man, who puts his total faith in the Good Lord reminding us all what this life is about."*

*From the liner notes by Tim Duffy

Back